Wednesday, June 7, 2017

QK Agent Round 5: Book Boys Gone Wild, YA Contemporary Fantasy

Title: Paper Seeds
Entry Nickname: Book Boys Gone Wild!
Word count: 109k
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy


When seventeen-year-old Harlow Jackson gets dumped at her grandma Minny's wake, she's devastated, pissed as hell, and without an escort for the debutante season starting the very next day. But then Harlow finds something Minny left her: paper seeds. Minny always told her that if you place a magical paper seed in a book, and plant it in the ground, you can grow anything you desire from its pages.

In a fit of desperation, revenge, and, okay fine, a little too much funeral punch, Harlow grows teenage versions of Mr. Knightley, Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray, and Dracula (Drake), to be her and her friends' debutante escorts. Because everyone knows there's only one thing better than a handsome, well-groomed, drawling Southern beau... an English gentleman. Harlow is tired of feeling second rate in her small, Southern town, and vows to use the boys to beat her ex, and the mean-girl debutantes, at their own game. Frankly, she'd love to burn their perfect curls off their pretty little heads, but that would just be gravy. Instead, she'll settle for winning the debutante crown and the accompanying cash scholarship prize, which she badly needs.

Harlow passes the boys off as four rather eccentric foreign exchange students, and everything goes according to plan until the book-boys discover their own origins and run amok. At the same time, the town witch, Madame LeRoux, comes after Harlow for the paper seeds, claiming that planting them will have dark consequences for Harlow and the people she loves. Harlow must uncover the origin and twisted history of the paper seeds to discover a way to undo what she's grown. But as generations of town secrets and lies begin to unravel, Harlow discovers someone she loves has been hiding the biggest, ugliest secret of them all.

First 250:

If I hadn’t been standing in the middle of my grandmother Minny's wake, I would have whacked that boy in the man parts so hard, people would be looking at pictures of his children in years to come and say—see the funny ear that kid has? Harlow Jackson did that.

But Jonathan took my hand and squeezed it, like he was bestowing some sort of warm comfort on me. He wore the gray shirt I'd saved up a week's wages for, the one that was the exact color of his eyes.

Now, I wanted to rip it off him.

And not in a good way.

I took a deep breath and tried to be civil. “Your parents will get used to the idea of us. I have a way of winning people over, you know.” I smiled my most becoming smile and flashed my dimple. Jonathan loved my dimple. Everyone loved my dimple.

He closed his eyes. “It’s not that, Harlow.”

“Then what is it?” I said, too loud.

Madison Pace cocked her ear in our direction as she scooped bean dip onto her plate at the food table. Nosey was not an adjective in this town, it was a given.

I tugged Jonathan’s hand, and he followed me out onto the front porch. The sky was gray, just waiting to burst open, the air heavy and thick. October in Georgia was not a cool, crisp autumn. It was more like standing over a pot of boiling pasta. Or maybe it was more like being the pasta.


  1. This sounds awesome! I'd love to see pages. Please send your query pasted in the body of your email to and include #querykombat in the subject. Pages should be sent as a Word attachment.


  2. I love this one! Would love to use a wild card here, and see the query, full, and synopsis, if you want to send it our way over at Good luck and congrats on making it this far!

  3. I'd like to WILD CARD Paper Seeds. Please send the full ms and synopsis to with the subject line Query Kombat 2017.

  4. I'd love to see more material! Please send along to with Query Kombat in the subject line.

  5. Please send! with a pitch, please put 'Query Kombat' in the subject line. Thanks!

  6. I'm so in love with this concept. Please send your query letter and pages attached as a Word doc to queryjennifer[at]lizadawson[dot]com.

  7. Just a note that this entry can't have any more wild cards, but please leave regular requests!

  8. As a Georgia girl, myself, I have to see more of this! Please send a query + requested materials to with YA QUERY KOMBAT in the subject line!

    -Ashley Hearn

  9. I'd like to see pages. Please send as a word attachment to querycaitie AT lizadawson DOT com

  10. Id like to read on! Please send pages, a synopsis and query to: chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com

  11. What a concept! Would you please send the query and sample via my submission form?

    Here is my submission form:

    All my best,

    Steven Salpeter | Curtis Brown, Ltd. | Ten Astor Place | New York, NY 10003

  12. I really want to read this!

  13. I'd love to see more! Please send your query, synopsis, and pages to Thank you, and good luck in the contest!

  14. I'd love to see this one! Please send the pages and synopsis to with subject line Query Kombat.

  15. Darn, I wanted to use my wild card on this one but can see that Lisa and Lauren were victorious here:) I would love to read as many pages as I can get my grabby hands on. Please send your query and pages to Be sure to add QueryKombat in the subject line.

  16. Alas I missed the wild card opening so I'll just look forward to reading this once it's ready! Please upload the manuscript and synopsis to